Sunday, September 21, 2014

hold your loved ones a little closer

Last Sunday my Dad's younger brother passed away very unexpectedly. He spent the day as he normally would with his family and went out to mow the grass on his tractor that afternoon. My Aunt went out to bring him water and found him sitting back on the tractor, peaceful looking, but he has passed. He was a healthy man with no problems that anyone had known of. They are suspecting he had a heart attack. If you would, please keep our whole family in your prayers.

The picture above was the last time I had seen him. Since we lived so far away from each other, family visits became harder and harder over the years as his kids were busy as was our new and growing family. I am very thankful we had this sweet time with him and he was able to enjoy moments with Gus and Will. And we had wonderful memories a few years back at our wedding. I am so thankful he was able to be there.
My life has so many memories of and with my uncle scattered throughout and I will cherish those always. All of our hearts are broken with sadness right now, but we are able to hold on to each of our special memories of him to help us get through the grief.

One small but special memory for me with him was our mutual love of photography. I think we would both compete for who took the most photos at family events. We both could easily get snap happy with our cameras and I loved that! Even though we had a wonderful photographer at our wedding, my uncle snapped a few special memories that I will treasure even more now after his passing. He had great joy in capturing my special day for me. Below are a few memories he captured.

Arriving at the church and seeing my bridesmaids outside waiting with a few other special people.
Getting out of the limo with my Dad.
Possibly one of my favorite memories... Walking through the double doors, with a huge smile on my face, to walk down to my love when my veil got caught on the door. I leaned back as to not rip it and he caught that moment on film.
I am so very glad he was not only there to celebrate our special day with us, but was there to capture some of the happiest moments of my life.
You never know how long you have with a loved one. They may pass unexpectedly like my uncle, or have a long and tiring battle. Keep in touch with your loved ones, especially those far away or those you don't see often. Treasure the moments you do have while you have them. 

The death of my young uncle caught us all completely off guard and we are still in the state of shock while we grieve, but it really makes me think of how short life can be. Live it well, live it right, live it intentionally.

Like I said earlier, please keep all of our family in your prayers as we get through this hard time, especially his wife, three sons and daughter. 

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